Looking for a quick activity for kids at home or at church? Try this crossword puzzle.
Here is a fun activity to do with your kids over this holiday weekend.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Looking to connect with volunteers or families in your ministry in a way that feels a little more personal than an online meet-up? Here’s a fun way to let them know you’re thinking about them. Pick up drinks from your favorite spot, attach these tags with a note, and deliver them to doorsteps. You’re sure to bring a little extra cheer to their day.
Step 1: Print out the PDF with the correct lid size for the drinks you’re purchasing. (Tip: For a Sonic Route 44, you would choose the PDF for 44 oz. drinks. For a Starbucks Venti, you would choose the PDF for 24 oz. drinks.)
Step 2: Cut along the dotted line of each circle. Don’t forget to cut out the hole in the center as well. (Tip: Use a hole punch to make this easier!)
Step 3: Write a personal note on the blank space of the tag.
Step 4: Purchase your drinks & tape the gift tags to the lid. (Tip: Sonic drinks are currently half-price any time if you order through their app.)
Step 5: Deliver your drinks to volunteers or families! Call or text ahead of time to let them know you’ll be dropping off a treat. Please remember to adhere to all social-distancing guidelines.
My kids love to cook and bake with me. Each year we look forward to baking Resurrection Rolls for Easter! It’s a creative way to tell the story of Jesus’s burial and resurrection. Here’s the recipe and the story to tell while assembling the rolls. Enjoy and have fun celebrating the truth that our Savior is risen!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 cans of crescent rolls
16 large marshmallows
½ C melted butter
¼ C granulated sugar
2 TBSP cinnamon
The story (Note: you may want to modify for younger children)
Jesus is God’s son who was sent to earth to pay the price for our sin. He never sinned. The white of this marshmallow represents the purity and sin-free nature of Christ.
After Jesus died his body was prepared for burial. After he was buried, his friends prepared him to be buried with oil and spices. Dip the marshmallow in butter, then in sugar and cinnamon.
Jesus was wrapped in linen and placed in a tomb with a large rock rolled in front. Wrap the marshmallow in one triangle of dough covering it completely like a ball (rock).
Complete the process for all 16 triangles and marshmallows.
Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Allow rolls to cool. Say after 3 days, his friends went to visit the tomb but the rock was rolled away and two angels said, “why are you looking for the living among the dead?”
Reveal that when you cut open a roll or take a bite that the marshmallow has disappeared, leaving an empty “tomb.”
Remind children that the rolls are sweet just like the love God has for us.
Follow-up by reading the Easter story together from the Bible so that children know that it is true and that Jesus died for them and wants to be their savior. Pray with children, thanking God for the gift of Jesus.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of LifeWay Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing. She is the author of Kids Ministry that Nourishes and Life Verse Creative Journal, which she co-authored with her teenage daughter. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children reside in Nashville.
It may alarm you or it could cause you to burst out laughing, but listening to kids in your ministry will always educate you. What do the kids you teach care about most? What are they excited to share with you each week? For the kids you lead it may be their sports teams, a new app on their phones, their friends, or the latest video on YouTube™. Kids reveal what they love most through what they talk about regularly.
And so do you.
We all set our affections and our attention—our worship—on something or someone. We may have a thousand things we like or care about, but the passion of our hearts is to love God and worship Him. When our interests supercede our worship of God and our love for others, we have a problem. However, when we cultivate genuine worship in our hearts and teach our students that the overwhelming passion within us is to love and obey God, they will see it.
Worship is our response to what we love most. It is recognizing and responding to God as worthy, deserving of all honor and praise. (Psalm 29:2) True worship overflows from a heart that is satisfied in God and wants to glorify Him, and it affects every part of our lives.
Wouldn’t it be exciting if what captured your kids’ hearts, minds, and attention spans was true worship of God? It can!
When the kids you lead trust in Jesus for salvation, He makes them new and begins to mold or shape their lives more into the image of Jesus. As they grow in their faith, the truth of God’s Word shapes their minds and hearts and changes their actions to look more like Jesus.
This month as you celebrate Valentine’s Day, help your kids remember that their hearts can praise God no matter where they are—on their way to school, riding a bike, or even posting on social media. Anytime we set our minds and hearts on God and choose to value Him above all else, we worship Him.
For deeper Bible study resources from LifeWay Kids on worship, check out the latest volume of the preteen series Forged: Faith Refined at lifeway.com/forged.
Consider using this free craft with the kids you teach this Valentine’s Day. As you do, discuss these questions about worship:
● What words come to mind when you hear the word worship?
● What do you know about God that makes you want to worship Him?
● How should knowing who God is lead you to value Him most?
● What do you think it looks like to love God with all of our hearts?
● How does knowing and loving God fuel our worship of Him?
You will need:
Small paper plates
Single hole punch
Guide kids to fold a paper plate in half and cut out a heart shape from the middle of the paper plate, making a template. Next, instruct them to open the heart template and place it on top of a second plate. Explain that they will trace the heart template onto the center of the second plate with a pencil. Then, they will cut out a heart shape in the center.
Use a single hole punch to punch holes around the entire perimeter of the heart shape.
Select various colors of yarn and guide kids to tape the ends so they don’t fray. Lead kids to thread the yarn through different holes of the heart and tape the yarn in place on the back of the paper plate. Continue threading the yarn around different holes choosing a variety of colors until each hole has been used. Encourage kids to place their craft in their rooms. When they see it, they can stop and remember that God wants their whole hearts to worship Him.
Kayla Stevens is the Content Editor for LifeWay Kids Discipleship. She is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and William Carey University. Kayla lives in Nashville, Tennessee and has served in Kids ministry for over 10 years.
Depending on where you live, the winter months can be brutal, with temperatures so low that taking the kids outside isn’t an option unless absolutely necessary. Even if you live near an indoor amusement park or an indoor swimming pool, those can get crowded during the winter months—which is also the height of flu season!—and the entry fees and/or costs to play can add up.
On days when you’re all stuck at home, what can you do to keep the kids—and yourself—from getting cabin-fever? While letting your children watch TV or play video games for a reasonable amount of time is fun for them and gives you some time to yourself, plopping your kids in front of screens all day isn’t good for them, can trigger waves of guilt in you, and does nothing to promote your family’s bond.
The benefits of family bonding are well-established and far-reaching. Making time to communicate positively with your children can boost their self-esteem and lower the incidences of childhood depression and anxiety. Moreover, making time to establish a close bond with your children can improve their school performance, problem-solving skills, and relationships with teachers and peers.
There are many ways to spend quality time at home with our children that include bond-building communication and fun, and exclude reliance on screen time. Here are 5 fun (and cheap!) activities to do at home with your kids when it’s too cold to go outside.
At the end of the games, be sure to hand out prizes to each child whether the prizes be homemade medals or, if you can plan ahead, inexpensive pre-ordered gold medals.
- Set up an indoor campground. Bring the sleeping bags and tents up from the basement or down from the attic and turn your family room into an indoor campground. No sleeping bags or tents? No problem. Create a campground by arranging chairs in rows of two in the family room, draping a bedsheet over the chairs to create the tent, and piling pillows and blankets underneath to create a sleep area.
You can make your indoor campground as elaborate as you’d like with items you already have in your home. String Christmas lights across the top of the tent to create a starry night scene. Enjoy the glow of a campground “fire” made with paper towel tubes, tissue paper, and LED candles. Set up lawn chairs outside the tent and serve hot dogs, chips, and trail mix; play cards and board games; or do an easy craft like making beaded necklaces or braided bracelets.
Add to the camping aura by having the kids help you make indoor s’mores in the microwave, oven, skillet, or, for a more “outdoorsy” experience, over a well-ventilated sterno flame.
- Host indoor Olympic games. If you look in toy boxes and closets, you’ll probably find that you have enough games and activities at home to arrange back-to-back and create a challenging obstacle course for your kids to compete in, tantamount to a kiddie indoor Olympic course!
You can kick off the indoor “Olympic games” with an opening ceremony in which each child gets to parade onto the course to a theme song of his or her choosing. Depending on your child’s age, he or she may want to grab a favorite teddy bear to serve as his or her Olympic mascot. At the close of the opening ceremonies, get your stopwatch and scorecard ready and time your little Olympians as they compete in consecutive games of skill and physical fitness such as: a ring or beanbag toss, a mini golf course competition (a broom, a Ping Pong® ball, and a plastic cup can be used in place of a golf club, golf ball, and hole), or a ball throwing competition into boxes of decreasing sizes, with a point given per successful shot for each of these activities:
- a sack race or a boiled egg and spoon race with a demarcated finish line and points given to the first person over the finish line;
- a hula hoop competition with a point given for each second the competitors can hold up their hula hoop
- a pyramid cup-stacking race with points given to the first person to successfully stack his or her cups into a stable pyramid;
- a physical endurance competition where points are given for the number of jumping jacks, push-ups, and sit-ups the child can do in three 30-second intervals; and
- a mad dash crabwalk to the final finish line of the indoor Olympic games.
- Send the kids off on a scavenger hunt. Staying indoors can be a blast when the kids are set off on a scavenger hunt to seek and collect common household items. The scavenger hunt can be subject to a time-limit where each child competes alone or are organized by teams to see which team collects the most items first. Print out a free indoor scavenger hunt checklist listing 40 everyday household items for seekers to find here.
- Throw a costume party. Let your kids raid Mom and Dad’s room for hats, scarves, and costume jewelry to put on a costume party. Add snacks and a tea set to make it a tea party-themed costume party. For a quick and easy costume, take out several rolls of toilet paper and wrap your kids up like mummies (without covering the nose and mouth area). For a fun competition with several family members, split the group up into teams where one person volunteers to be the mummy while the other does the wrapping. The team that can wrap up their mummy the fastest and the neatest wins.
- Hold an art show. Grab smocks for your kids and spread out watercolors and brushes, crayons, markers, and colored pencils on a table along with poster board and construction paper. Provide glue sticks and safety scissors to allow for added artistic touches. Once your little artists have created their masterpieces, hang up the artwork and host an art show complete with glasses of apple juice “champagne” and hor d’oeuvres.
Make spending a cold day at home fun and educational for you and your child with these activities and remember that carving out quality time for your child is important at any time of year, in any weather!
Dolores Smyth writes about parenting and faith. A perfect day for her includes running, reading, and spending time with her husband and three kids. Follow her on Twitter @LolaWordSmyth.This article appears in the January 2020 issue of ParentLife. For more information or to order, visit www.lifeway.com/parentlife.
Sunday, January 19 is Sanctity of Life Sunday. As believers we celebrate that God made us and He made us in His image. Before we were born, God had a plan for us. Help kids celebrate the value of life through this art activity.
green, yellow, and purple paint
white construction paper
paintbrushes (large and small)
*Option: You can substitute a large single-color stamp pad and a green marker for the paint.
Read Psalm 139:13-14. Point out that God has made each child remarkably and wondrously.
As you help each kid create their handprint flowers, remind them of these special Bible truths:
God made me, so I am special.
God loves me.
God will always love me.
God has plans for me.
Give each kid a piece of white construction paper. Help kids print I am remarkably and wondrously made on the bottom of their papers.
Pour some yellow or purple paint onto a plate and after it spreads out, allow a kid to place their hand palm down in the paint. Guide her to stamp a handprint in the middle of the construction paper. Use a baby wipe to clean off the hand and repeat the process with the other hand.
Allow kids to use a small paintbrush and green paint to add stems to their handprint flowers.
Winter is knocking on our doors. As you approach this season of long days stuck inside with bored kids, take some time now to prepare for a little fun.
Box O’ Fun
Purchase a tub and fill it with tons of creative supplies. At our house this tub contains:
- Construction Paper
- Blank Paper
- Colored Pencils
- Coloring Books
- Play Dough
- Kinetic Sand
- Washi Tape
- Pipe Cleaners
- Googly Eyes
- Ink Pads
- Glitter Glue
Make a visit to your local dollar store and load up on any craft supplies you can find. Keep the TV off for a few hours and encourage your kids to craft their hearts away! Make thank-you cards for Christmas gifts, use cardboard boxes to make robots, cars, or homes for stuffed animals. The possibilities are really endless and you will be amazed at the creations your kids will come up with.
Living Room Slumber Party
Tell your kids to throw on a fresh pair of pajamas and bring their pillows and blankets to the living room. Pile everyone up on the floor and turn on your family’s favorite movie. Make sure to pop some popcorn and grab a sweet snack to share. When the movie is over, let each child pick a board game to play. Everyone gets a turn! Our favorites include Hedbanz®, SushiGo®, and Chutes and Ladders®. Looking to really surprise your kids? Pillow fight! The laughter is sure to ensue.
Indoor Snow Storm
Keep a spare ream of white copy paper and a large bag of cotton balls around the house just for days like this. Give the whole stack of paper to your kids and encourage them to make as many paper snowflakes as they can. When they’ve finished, tape them to the windows and anywhere else you want! Cover the house in snowflakes. You can even string them from light fixtures, stick them to bathroom mirrors, and attach them to your door frames. When the house looks like a snowstorm hit it, divvy up the bag of cotton balls and throw an indoor snowball fight! Let your inner child come out as you play along with your kids!
Nancy Cornwell is the content editor for ParentLife magazine and the mom of three kids. She is always looking for good ideas to keep them entertained at home.This article first appeared in the December 2019 issue of ParentLife.
Looking for a fun activity for your Birthday Party for Jesus or Christmas session? How about Christmas Tree Bingo? This isn’t your normal sit-at-a-table Bingo game. This is more active and way more fun.
Object: Find every item and mark every square on your Christmas Bingo card.
Option if time is limited: Play traditional five-in-a-row or require two Bingos, one horizontal and one vertical.
Preparation and planning:
- Print one copy of the Christmas Bingo card for each child. Printing two per sheet makes them roughly 5.5-by-8.5-inches and saves paper!
- Choose 35-40 tree decorations to correspond with your Christmas Bingo card squares.
- Print icons or words on a sheet of address labels. Icons are best for younger kids but may be harder to find. Each word should correspond with an ornament on your tree. Using standard size address labels, printed two words on each label then cut them in half. This will be square stickers kids will use to create their Christmas Bingo cards. Click here to download a sample list of some ornaments you could include.
- Decorate a Christmas tree with your chosen Christmas Bingo ornaments. Add more ornaments, garland, lights, or other tree decorations for additional challenge and fun.
The last time I played this game, I set our Christmas tree in a place that the children could not touch it. This was for obvious reasons, like I didn’t want someone to knock the tree over, but also to add an additional challenge. Part of my instructions to the kids included “You may not get within reach of the Christmas tree.” Kids had to find the items from a short distance away without touching the tree. There are 24 empty squares on each Christmas Bingo card so my goal was to have 35-40 ornaments, some represented by stickers and some not, and have at least 30 different words/icons on stickers to add variety.
- As kids arrive, guide them select one blank Christmas Bingo card.
- Kids select a different sticker (from the cut address labels) for each square and place it on his/her Christmas Bingo card. Stickers may not be on a card more than once. This allows each child’s Christmas Bingo card to be different, adding challenge and creativity.
- After each square has a sticker, kids are guided the Christmas tree to look for each item on their Christmas Bingo card. When an item is found, kids should mark that item off on their card. You can use stamps, pencil, or marker to mark off found items.
- If a kids finishes quickly, she can color her Christmas Bingo card to decorate a border or draw a picture on the back.
- If desired, have a prize for the first child who gets a “bingo,” or a prize for each child as he completes a “bingo.”